Monday, 12 December 2011

MISFITS, 3.7 - episode seven

Monday, 12 December 2011

[Warning: spoilers]

The penultimate episode of Misfits didn’t have much on its mind, as brains were too busy being splattered everywhere. I suppose there was a vague allegory about the pain that can come from being dumped by your boyfriend for his ex, but at heart episode 7 was just an excuse to have the gang fight a zombie cat and cheerleaders. And there's nothing wrong with that...

In a plot development everyone unfortunately saw coming weeks ago, Seth (Matthew McNulty) gave Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) the power to resurrect the dead, and the duo visited the local graveyard to excavate Seth's ex Shannon (Charlene McKenna) and bring her back to life. A plan that worked, but with the unexpected side-effect that anything Curtis brings back to life turns into a blood-thirsty zombie—including a neighbourhood moggy called Mr Miggles, that's soon found tearing flesh off its dead elderly owner's cheek.

There were no real subplots this week, but I almost prefer it when Misfits has something singular on its mind that allows the gang to come together and defeat a common enemy. However, given how this episode was essentially the climax of Kelly's (Lauren Socha) storyline, as she's been competing for the affections of her boyfriend's dead lover since they started dating, I was a little disappointed this human element of the story wasn't stronger. It was there, but it wasn't enough of a big deal when Seth dumped Kelly to be with Shannon—although possibly that's because I haven't been convinced by their relationship to begin with. It was also hard to care about Seth's side of the story, because we haven't met Shannon before and, to be honest, there wasn't much here that suggested they had a particularly amazing relationship that was tragically cut short by death.

But as I said, the real point of this episode was to have lots of grisly, heightened fun. Rudy's (Joe Gilgun) phobia of cheerleaders because he caught his dad having sex with his mum while dressed as one, Shannon eating Seth's pet iguana, Rudy dragging around an enormous lump hammer to bash some zombies, the climax with an escaped Mr Miggles turning a cheerleading troupe into flesh-eating monsters, the gang drawing straws to see who'd have to kill the poor cat... all were very memorable moments that helped this episode become one of series 3's most purely entertaining. It was also Rudy's best showcase yet, with Gilgun getting the lion's share of the scripts best jokes and reaction shots. His character's been slightly too coarse for my liking, but that aspect of his personality was balanced with silliness and a vulnerability here, so it didn't overshadow my impression of him.

Overall, I wouldn't say this was Misfits operating at its very best, because it didn't have enough human drama to raise everything a few notches. (The second death of Shannon was curiously limp, when it should really have been gut-wrenching.) But as an example of the show having a great deal of fun and letting the cast bounce off each other in very entertaining ways, episode 7 was a reminder of why Misfits is seen as one of the UK's shining lights as a modern, youth-orientated drama.


  • You may recognise guest-star Charlene McKenna as Lamia in the so-named recent episode of Merlin.
  • It was also very amusing to see the gang kill yet another probation worker, just a few episodes after they killed the previous one. As running gags do, this is one of the best.
  • Why did Seth rebury Shannon on a hillside instead of simply putting her back in her dug up coffin?
written by Howard Overman / directed by Will Sinclair / 11 December 2011 / E4